Permanent Security Council members reaffirm commitment to Test Ban Treaty

The Foreign Ministers of China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States met in Geneva June 4 to coordinate a response to the nuclear tests carried out by India and Pakistan, and included a strong statement supporting the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in their Joint Communiqué. The importance of the Treaty was further underscored when China announced it would not resume nuclear testing after the South Asian explosions, but instead abide by a CTBT they helped negotiate and signed, even though the Treaty has not yet entered into force.
China chaired the Geneva meeting, for which President Clinton expressed his appreciation by saying, “This is further evidence of the important role China can play in meeting the challenges of the 21st Century and the constructive Chinese leadership that will be essential to the long-term resolutions of issues involving South Asia. This is an important example of how our engagement with China serves America’s interests: stability in Asia, [and] preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction....”
Excerpts from the Joint Communiqué include:
“The Ministers agreed that quick action is needed to arrest the further escalation of
regional tensions stimulated by the recent nuclear tests. India and Pakistan should therefore stop all further such tests. They should refrain from the weaponization or deployment of nuclear weapons, from the testing or deployment of missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, and from any further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons....
“To reinforce security and stability in the region and more widely, the Five strongly believe that India and Pakistan should adhere to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty immediately and unconditionally, thereby facilitating its early entry into force. The Five also call upon India and Pakistan to participate, in a positive spirit and on the basis of the agreed mandate, in negotiations with other states in the Conference on Disarmament for a Fissile Material Cut-off Convention with a view to reaching early agreement. The Five will seek firm commitments by India and Pakistan not to weaponize or deploy nuclear weapons or missiles. India and Pakistan should also confirm their policies not to export equipment, materials or technology that could contribute to weapons of mass destruction or missiles capable of delivering them, and should undertake appropriate commitments in that regard.


“The Ministers agreed that the international non-proliferation regime must remain strong and effective despite the recent nuclear tests in South Asia. Their goal continues to be adherence by all countries, including India and Pakistan, to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as it stands, without any modification. This Treaty is the cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. Notwithstanding their recent nuclear tests, India and Pakistan do not have the status of nuclear weapon states in accordance with the NPT.
“The Ministers viewed their meeting in Geneva as setting in motion a process aimed at strengthening peace and stability in South Asia, at encouraging restraint by India and Pakistan, at promoting the resolution of outstanding differences, and at bolstering the international non-proliferation regime. They will remain fully engaged in pursuing these goals, and will work actively to build broad support in the international community for the objectives they agreed today.”

Produced by the White House Working Group on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
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